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Dev Letter - Upcoming Fixes and Features

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Hi players,

 

This is a follow-up to our recent dev letter - Addressing Player Concerns.

 

We’ve received a lot of feedback from players that you’d like us to be more frequent and transparent with our communication. We’ve heard you loud and clear!

 

That’s why today, we want to expand upon that post and share more detailed information regarding current issues, their status, and what we’re doing to get them resolved.

 

This is going to be a long read, we’ve got a lot of information to share.

 

Our dev team has expanded, and continues to expand in real-time, which will accelerate the rate of development. This hasn’t happened overnight and we’ll continue to expand our dev team over time.

 

We’ll continue working to improve the game as fast as possible.

 

With that said, let’s get started!

 

Patch ETA

The next patch is planned to release on June 5th. We may push this patch out earlier. If a critical issue arises, we may delay the update. We haven’t generally given specific dates until we’re completely confident with them, leading to a lot of frustration. Please understand that we want to share important dates as soon as possible, but we also don’t want to disappoint you by giving you a date which may change.

 

Patch Info

The next patch, currently planned for June 5th, will include fixes for GameHub stats not updating, as well as a fix for a common cause of crashing. We’ll also be implementing improvements to Elastic Accuracy Control for Characters (EACC), a system we recently introduced to reduce crashing and lag in heavily populated areas. We’ll detail EACC more later on in this post. There will also be improvements to our Prediction-based level streaming (PBLS) system, which we’ll also elaborate on.

 

There are many issues that need to be fixed in regard to performance, stability and gameplay. Some will take more time than others. We’re working hard to address all issues that can negatively affect your gameplay experience, as quickly as possible.

 

We’ll share more information about what will be included in the next patch as we get closer to its release.

 

Now, we will detail some of the most important, and common player concerns.

 

Stability (Crashing / Dashboarding)

There are various reasons crashes can occur and we are working hard on fixing them all. Until the most recent patch, the instances of crashes experienced by players was decreasing each time we patched the game.

 

The recent patch has increased instances of crashing for many players.  This is unacceptable.

 

We’re currently working on fixing the two most common causes of crashing, with the first being fixed in the next patch:

 

1. We introduced some back-end changes to prepare for an upcoming feature and in some cases, the game would try to interact with this unfinished feature, causing the game to crash.

2. A crash is occurring in relation to caching memory, which is used to improve performance. We’ve been actively addressing this issue since December, steadily reducing the instances of crashes related to this each patch. We are focusing on resolving this problem entirely by the end of June.

 

As players have noticed, crashes and lag happen more often in highly populated areas.To combat this, on top of our standard ongoing performance and stability work, we recently introduced a system designed specifically to improve performance and reduce crashes in highly populated areas.

 

Previously, we handled character resources in full for everyone that was near the player, within a 1km radius. This was causing lag/FPS drops and crashes at the early stages of the game after landing, as too many resources were being handled all at once, in populated areas. We have been working on introducing a dynamic system for these specific situations and have implemented a system called “Elastic Accuracy Control for Character, or EACC. Each resource was refreshed at a constant rate within 1km radius of your player. When characters were picking up items, changing clothes etc, this was causing all items within the 1km radius to be refreshed.

 

We made this system dynamic with EACC. It will now work depending on many factors, mainly distance. It will handle resources (refresh resources faster or slower) depending on those factors.

 

Much like PBLS, with each patch, EACC will become more effective at improving performance and in turn reducing crashes, as we gather more data each patch cycle and our engineers implement improvements based on the analysis of that data.

 

Map Selection

 

Map selection is still in development, we’ve still got some further work to do and we’ll get this out to you as soon as possible.

 

World Rendering (Loading)

 

The rendering (loading) process is different in each match, for each player, in each location. We need to find the best process to load resources in all scenarios, for every player. As mentioned in our previous dev letter, we’re using a system called prediction-based level streaming (PBLS) to speed up the rendering process. Our engineers are adjusting and optimizing this system every patch, based on data accumulated during that patch cycle.

 

PBLS is used specifically when parachuting, as it uses a lot of resources which can cause lower FPS for players. We use a different non-prediction-based level streaming system while on the ground, as it is more efficient.

 

When parachuting and falling through the air, a lot more resources have to be loaded than when you’re moving in on the ground. Imagine a chessboard as our map, with each square representing a square on our map. Your character occupies a square on that chessboard while on the ground and the game will load three squares in front of you (in a T shape), as your movement is somewhat predictable—we know where you’re going.

 

This is much different when in the air, parachuting. When you’re parachuting and falling towards the ground, everything around you has to be loaded, because we can’t predict where you will go. Instead of having to only load three squares in front of you, an area of 3x3 squares around you will have to be loaded. With PBLS, this system intuitively decides where in that 3x3 area to load first, to improve rendering times in the area where you’re going to land.

 

As you all know, there are often problems with rendering happening too slowly when driving vehicles, where buildings can suddenly appear in front of you, or you can get stuck inside a building which didn’t appear to be there previously. We have a level streaming system (separate from our prediction-based system) which is used while on the ground specifically, this system will load resources that you’re heading towards and instantly dump resources far behind you to improve performance. When travelling at high speeds, rendering can often not happen quickly enough, and we’re working to improve this system.

 

We’ll be making adjustments to level-streaming, further taking into account vehicle speed to improve the process of rendering resources you want to see and dumping those that are no longer needed.

 

For both our predictive and regular level-streaming systems, our engineers will be making improvements each patch to improve their efficiency and improve rendering times, after analyzing data from the patch cycle.

 

Server Performance

 

At the start of each match, the server is under the most stress due to having to keep track of 100 players all at once. We’ve recently applied some network improvements to the PC servers to help alleviate some early game load and we’re working to push these optimizations to Xbox as soon as possible, once they’re proven to be stable.

 

We’re constantly working on improving server performance, this is an ongoing process.

 

Vehicles

 

There are many bumps and sharp terrain geometry around the maps which can cause vehicles to explode in situations you wouldn’t expect and this is, obviously, extremely frustrating. We’re working to smooth out the terrain on all maps and reduce instances of these frustrating situations.

 

We expect to push some of these improvements later in June.

 

Other important issues we’re investigating   

 

This list doesn’t include all issues we’re investigating, but these are some of issues being discussed the most:

 

1. Player teleports to a different location after vaulting

2. Match not ending, as the game believes another player is still alive, even though you cannot see anyone else in the final circle

3. Vehicles flipping or exploding for seemingly no reason

4. GameHub stats not updating - This will be fixed in the next patch. All of these stats have been tracked since the May update, but just haven’t yet been reflected in the GameHub. GameHub stats will not be restored instantly, but over time. Once the patch goes live, we’ll keep you updated through the process.

 

While we work to fix these bugs, optimization and stability are still our top priorities. We have different teams who work on different aspects of development, based on their skill sets and experience.

 

We will continue to address bugs, while improving performance and stability.

 

----

 

Hopefully this post has answered your questions and addressed concerns you may have.

 

We again want to take this opportunity to apologize for our lack of communication and delay in addressing key community concerns.

 

We’re actively working to improve our communication with the community and provide updates as often as possible.


 

Thanks,

PUBG Xbox Team

 

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